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posted: 10/22/2012 5:00 AM

Additional cigarette tax will save lives

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The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network strongly supports Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's recent proposal for a $1 per pack cigarette tax increase in Cook County. Smoking remains the leading cause of cancer, which continues to devastate far too many of our family members, friends and neighbors.

The proposed tax increase will do something much more profound than raise funds for Cook County -- it will save lives and improve the health of county residents, particularly in curtailing youth smoking. If the Cook County cigarette tax increase is approved, smoking will decline an estimated 7 percent among youth, which will prevent more than 18,000 kids from eventually becoming addicted smokers. And the tax will prompt an additional 16,000 adults to quit, saving more than 10,000 Cook County residents from premature smoking-caused death, including cancer.

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From our perspective, this measure offers remarkable promise to decrease the number of people suffering and dying from cancer. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and its supporters encourage Cook County commissioners to adopt this proposal quickly so the lifesaving outcomes can begin.

Heather Eagleton

Director of Public Policy and Government Relations

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Inc.

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